Friday, March 31, 2006
(It occurs to me that, since we all watch TV on our own schedules these days, I should say up-front what shows I'll be talking about so people who are saving that Very Special Episode of "According to Jim" won't have it spoiled for them here. This morning's shows, in order, "Survivor," "Lost" and "Scrubs.")
I've seen some dumb "Survivor" moves in my time, with Lex saving Amber in All-Stars the dumbest by far, but last night featured the dumbest move by a contestant I liked and respected since Colby picked Tina over Keith back in Australia.
Okay, here's Terry, coming into the merge at a 6-4 advantage on paper, but one that could probably be swung to 5-5 thanks to Bruce's unhappiness, and all he has to do is give Bruce an incentive to jump. And what does Terry have hidden in his pack? The Immunity Idol. He knows he's the biggest target on his side, so all he has to do is lose the Immunity Challenge by a hair, draw all the votes from the other side, and then whip out the Idol and send Shane home to his nicotine fix -- at which point Bruce has no reason not to change sides, since he likes Terry a hell of a lot better than anybody from Casaya.
Given the numbers, there is going to be no better time in the game for Terry to use the thing; if he uses it now, it swings the numbers back in his favor, and the combination of a majority alliance and his own challenge bad-ass-ness should send him very far. So what does he do? He refuses to drop from the pole, beats Nick and keeps the damn thing in his pocket so that suddenly his alliance is down 6-3. Now, even if he brings the thing out at the next Tribal Council, all it does is save him for a week and give him no winning strategy other than pulling a Tom Westman-esque streak (and remember, Tom lost two individual immunities and was lucky to not get targeted either time).
Dumb, dumb, dumb -- and that's not even counting his lame-ass sales pitch to Shane and Cirie. To get people to give up a power position, you have to offer them an even better one, and much as I hate Shane, I had to laugh at his incredulity at Terry's "no one has to worry for two whole weeks" line of crap. If that's the best he's got, mentally, he deserves to go home the first time he loses a challenge. And now the previews suggest he's going to offer the Idol in trade? Awful, awful, awful. The only value of letting people know you have the Idol is to scare them into not voting for you as long as they can avoid it; give it up, and I don't care what promise they make to you, you're too big a threat for them to keep you around a second longer than they have to. I guess I'm rooting for Cirie to win now. Go, you leaf-phobic straight-shooter!
Meanwhile, on another miserable island, "Lost" had its first good episode in... how long has it been since the Mr. Eko show? Six months? Ten? Hard to tell. The more shows on network and cable that manage to air all their original episodes in a row, the less patience I have for the traditional rerun-heavy stretches in March and April on the networks, especially on a serialized show like this.
The point is, this was a great improvement over the rest of the Henry Gale arc, because stuff finally happened: Sayid and company found the balloon, we learned definitively that "Henry" was lying, there was some action in the hatch (even if that black-light diagram is just another tease that will get less and less interesting the more we learn about it), and there was a good flashback story. Yes, we already knew that Locke was hungry for his daddy's love above all else, but Terry O'Quinn is still the best actor this show has, and it's good to see him let loose, especially in an arena separate from the monotonous faith vs. science pissing contest he's been having with Jack all year. When I talked at the start of the season about being able to enjoy the show as long as I can divorce myself from any desire to have any major mysteries solved anytime soon, this was the kind of episode I was talking about.
Finally got around to both this week's "Scrubs" and the one from two weeks ago that I missed, thanks to the wonders of iTunes. They're already starting to blend together in my mind the way those back-to-back originals at the start of the season would, but I'm pretty sure the watchie-talkies were from two weeks ago and The Janitor's hurdling career was last night. (Janitor+mustache+'80s athletic gear+cigarettes=genius) Other good stuff from last night: Laverne getting banished to the roof and Keith practicing his winking in the background while Cox told Carla to punish him. Some questions: what the hell accent is Dr. Cox using these days? Because his pronunciation of the word "not" makes him sound like Charles Emerson Winchester by way of Wisconsin. Why was Jordan so giggly and enthusiastic at the party at the end? So not her at all. Can anyone recommend a good brand of pizza rolls? And is it just me, or has Turk become the main character this season?
I'll get to "Chris," "Earl" and "Office" tonight, but may not be able to blog about them until later in the weekend.